Monday, March 15, 2010

Nigeria: Writing Historical Yoruba Women - Who Will Kick Your Ass

Next has a report on part of the 70th birthday celebrations of renowned Yoruba playwright, Akinwumi Isola, who is also a screenwriter on such Kelani films as Ò le kù (1997), The Campus Queen (2004), Agogo èèwò (2002). Below is a clip from Ishola's Efunsetan Aniwura (1981), directed Bankole Bello:

Haven't read the anthology of perspectives on his work, but here is  Mary Ebun Modupe Kolawole on why Ishola's plays focus on historical women who will kick your ass:
[Ishola] explained that the invisibility of women in existing literature motivated him nd caused his interest. He then searched for historical accounts of women's special and srectacular roles in initiating socio/political changes. He discovered that many strong women exist in African history and has since written plays centered on powerful women in Yoruba. These include Efunsetan Aniwura, Iyalode Ibadan, and Madam Tinubu -- from Womanism and African consciousness.
Also, there's a hilarious bit in the report on a brief back and forth between Esu and Lagos state governor, Fashola. Knowing what Fashola has pulled to turn Lagos around, I'd say the double entendre was inspired.

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